inbound marketing

Inbound Marketing in a Post Pandemic Economy

At the core of Inbound Marketing lies the simple principle – empower your customers to reach their goals and do so by forming a human, meaningful connection. As a result of this pandemic, large swathes of the population are in lockdown and isolation, yearning for human connection. If used well, Inbound Marketing can be a powerful tool to connect with your customers and delight them.

inbound marketing methodology
Source: HubSpot

The inbound methodology works as a flywheel with three levers–

  • Attract: Catch the attention of the right people by providing quality content in the form of blogs, how-to guides etc. You should be their trusted advisor.
  • Engage: Communicate with your prospects and customers with the intent to form long term relationships. Focus on selling solutions, not products.
  • Delight: Use thoughtful and well-timed content and tools to assist, exceed expectations and delight your customers.

Here are 4 ways you can use Inbound Marketing for the post pandemic economy –

1. SEO as your Inbound Marketing Gatekeeper

Online search is most often the first step someone takes when looking for solutions that you sell. People are searching for products and services online more than ever. They’re looking for solutions that can help them tide over this pandemic.

More importantly, people are confined to their communities and are searching for local businesses that can help. Tweak your SEO strategy to make it more local.

Create content based off local news stories, hone in on local trending keywords, update your Google business card/listing with new working hours or curbside pickup (if applicable). This will help you to not only rank higher on SERPs but also provide your customers with information that is personalized to the situations they might be facing in their community.

2. Update your Content Marketing Strategy

This is the time to re-establish with your customers who you are as a company and now just what you sell. Covid-19 is possibly the first globally shared human experience in a long time. Purpose and meaning will resonate more for customers during this time.

inbound marketing tools
Source: HubSpot

Humanize your brand and create valuable content that is contextual and dynamic. We’ve a content dynamic that changes almost every day now. Stay on top of it.

Marketing teams have to now work with tight budgets due to the severe economic impact this pandemic has brought about. With tight content marketing budgets, the focus is increasingly shifting from traditional advertising strategies to a digital and programmatic model. Content consumption on digital devices has increased manifold. The task at hand now is to find or create stories that resonate with your customers, bring order to the chaos around them and display empathy.

Use the live-streaming option on your favorite social media network to do product demos/reviews/unboxing. Or even just to show how your company is coping with this pandemic. Split your content strategy into two – short-term (immediate Covid related content) and long-term (answer questions about what happens after this pandemic ends).

3. Bots as your human representative

You’re most likely short of staff and money. Chatbots are now not just an option but an imperative. Chatbots enable rapid responses at a time when everyone is filled with uncertainty and looking for reliable information quickly. Your customers want to interact with you. Empower them with self-service tools that are available 24/7.

It has been observed that businesses using self-service have 6x greater improvement in customer lifetime value annually, also witnessing high customer satisfaction and retention rates. Chatbots can help ease the burden of your employees and help prevent customer churn by being available to answer quick and simple questions. No wonder why organizations like the World health Organization and Centre for Disease Control have deployed chatbots to combat the pandemic.

inbound marketing chatbot

Government and healthcare organizations, retail, restaurants and volunteering are areas where chatbots are being used more than before. Consider chatbots as your AI powered human representative. With time they become more customer centric and effective.

4. Analyze, rinse, repeat

Your marketing metrics are most likely giving some strange numbers right now. It is ok to put more emphasis on qualitative data to better understand how your customers and prospects are responding to your messaging. That’ll help you adapt and make changes in the next iteration rapidly.

Your digital marketing metrics matter more than ever now. Pick a date from a couple of weeks before the pandemic hit your customers and note the numbers. These will become your historical ‘normal’ metrics. You might have measured these metrics per quarter or per month, but now in an ever-evolving scenario because of the pandemic, it makes sense to increase your frequency to a weekly basis.

Note key dates such as lockdown and unlock announcements, and see how your marketing efforts are performing. For example, your email rates might have actually increased when everyone was working from home. Update your strategy basis how you see your metrics evolving over a weekly basis.

inbound marketing benchmarks

In conclusion, the time has never been better to use inbound marketing principles. When everyone is looking for meaningful and contextual information, inbound marketing fits the description. Start with crafting high quality content that resonates with your customer community and deploy them according to the inbound marketing flywheel. The aim is to delight and build long term relationships, and what you’ve learned in this article are sure-fire ways to build a marketing strategy that lasts in the post pandemic economy.